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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The messages are a little mixed. Although the film's ultimate message is that mercy is better than vengeance and that human beings and mutants can make the choice not to kill, this realization comes after a lot of people (and mutants) are killed. Teens are taken captive to participate in medical experiments.
Positive Role Models
Wolverine steps up and becomes a leader.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent, brutal comic-book violence, as well as real-world shootings, stabbings, and more. There's not a whole lot of blood (most of the mutants are indestructible), but characters are beaten, blown up, shot in the head, slashed with swords/claws, and impaled with blades/claws. There are human casualties, including characters who are close to Wolverine. A decapitated animal is seen, and there's another bloodless, special-effects decapitation. There's also war violence (from the Civil War to the Vietnam era) and vivid, graphic medical/experimentation imagery.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A committed couple cuddles and makes out. A young woman is seen being abducted by a soldier, presumably for sexual purposes, but he's interrupted. Nude male buttocks are shown in an action-scene context.
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Occasional strong language includes "screwed," "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn, "a--hole," "hell," "ass," "oh my God," and "goddamn."
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Products & Purchases
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. A few minimally visible brands, including Everlast, Budweiser, and Chevrolet. The film is being extensively cross-marketed, including a "Got Milk?" ad.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An unlit cigar is chewed on and then shot out of a character's mouth. Characters drink beer and hard liquor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn't as tween-friendly as the earlier X-Men movies. Although many of the mutants are pretty indestructible, the action in this comic book prequel is still bloodier than in the previous films, thanks to the fact that much of it is carried out with the slashing edge of a claw, talon, or blade. There's also war violence, gunplay, a decapitated animal, and scary/grisly images of medical experiments, as well as kids being taken captive. Also expect mild male nudity (non-sexual shot of bare buttocks), and some drinking and swearing ("s--t" is as strong as it gets). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Much like the over-stuffed, over-done X-Men: The Last Stand, this is a fairly bloated film with too many characters, too much comic book trivia, and, ironically, not enough Wolverine. "More" in this case doesn't mean "better"; here, it's simply too much, with supporting characters crowding out the lead.
The action scenes are acceptable, even though X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn't do much with its '70s setting (since the only time-setting plot point is the Three Mile Island disaster, it's not always clear when all this is happening). Jackman has a real charm and a sly sense of humor; regrettably, the film doesn't give him much to do with either of them. And while Huston and co-star Liev Schreiber are charismatic in their bad-guy roles, the fact that the film bypasses them in favor of a silent, speechless ultimate bad guy detracts from their work. Wolverine feels like it was produced by people who were more interested in making money and selling toys than they were in telling a coherent, fun story, and the film suffers for it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.